Here’s a compilation of what Proverbs teaches us about work (work as defined as any set of tasks designed to accomplish a goal–which encompasses more than what you get paid for).
Proverbs on Work
“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:6-11).
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.” (Proverbs 10:4-5).
“Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.” (Proverbs 10:26).
“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.” (Proverbs 12:11).
“From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.” (Proverbs 12:14).
“The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.” (Proverbs 12:24).
“Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.” (Proverbs 12:27).
“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” (Proverbs 13:4).
“Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” (Proverbs 13:11).
“The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.” (Proverbs 13:23).
“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” (Proverbs 14:4).
“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23).
“The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.” (Proverbs 15:19).
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3).
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9).
“A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on.” (Proverbs 16:26).
“Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” (Proverbs 18:9).
“Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.” (Proverbs 19:15).
“The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.” (Proverbs 19:24).
“The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.” (Proverbs 20:4).
“Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.” (Proverbs 20:13).
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5).
“Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.” (Proverbs 21:17).
“The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.” (Proverbs 21:25-26).
“The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!”” (Proverbs 22:13).
“Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” (Proverbs 22:29).
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:10-12).
“Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” (Proverbs 24:27).
“Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.”” (Proverbs 24:29).
“I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” (Proverbs 24:30-34).
“The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!” As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.” (Proverbs 26:13-16).
“Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? When the grass is gone and the new growth appears and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field. There will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your girls.” (Proverbs 27:23-27).
“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.” (Proverbs 28:19).
“She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.” (Proverbs 31:13).
“Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:31).